Slow down, Think big

Above and Beyond

One reason that I like living at Sunrise’s Roseville Senior Living is that we have a staff that goes above and beyond. This realization was brought home to me most vividly, through an incident that occurred recently.

I love to write. For the past months, I has been working on a series of essays. Writing takes time, it also requires good organization, As soon as I have written a new essay, I put it in a manila folder marked with the the title of the essay. Then I stack the folders on some empty corner of my desk. The surface of my desk is covered with desk paraphernalia. My folders often fall to the floor and are stepped upon.Their frequent falls leave many folders looking grubby. My essays get lost or misplaced. Sometimes friends borrow a folder and forget to return it. Pages slip out of their folders and are lost. I was lamenting my troubles to a friend, and she said,”Sheila you need a storage box for your essays.” I agreed that I needed a safe place to store my work.

I started to look for something to fit my needs. Where should I look? A shaft of sunlight was illuminating a corner of the room. There, before me stood a medium-size, oblong-shaped plastic container that had been used as a wastebasket. The container was empty with only a few old candy wrappers stuck to its bottom. I began loading my folders into the container. They fit beautifully; I was delighted. I packed the rest of my work into the box and left for the day. Before leaving, I carefully hid the box under my worktable. The next day when I returned to my office and walked into the room, I did not see anything unusual. The furniture was in the same place. The desks were uncluttered, their surfaces gleaming with furniture polish. The sun was still shining, when I looked at the room and noticed for the first time how clean the room was. When I checked the box that should contain my essays, it was empty! Suddenly I wondered if the cleaning staff had found my box, mistaken it for a waste basket and tossed all its contents into the rubbish, thinking that the the papers were only trash? I rushed from the room to find the person who had cleaned the room. I learned that she had just gone home.

Although the sun was still shining, my world had suddenly turned dark as the impact of my loss took hold of me. Ì sank into despair. I never would want to write again. Desperate, I asked help from the floor manager. He was solicitous but pessimistic. He explained the cleaning process this way: once a room is cleaned, its trash is put inside giant size bags that contain trash from all the rooms. This rubbish is placed in the dumpster where it awaits pickup by city garbage trucks.

The manager’s remarks overwhelmed me. I was facing many challenges: climbing into the dumpster, digging through dirty food scrap, touching soiled and dirty items, getting cut by dead tree branches, and worst of all feeling cold as winter had recently arrived. Suddenly at the other end of the hall another person appeared and asked “What is the matter?” I had never see her before. I told her my story and she had me sit down.She said that “I will take care of it”. I waited for what seemed like an eternity, but finally I heard voices. She reappeared and was singing “We found it,” as she handed my manuscript back.